Feelings Factory

What are some of the greatest things you can do on planet Earth?

Create a globally reconized company.
(Henry Ford, Steve Jobs)

Write fiction.
(William Shakespeare, Stephen King)

Become a globally known celebrity.
(Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Invent something impressive.
(Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell)

Produce art of some sort.
(Leonardo da Vinci, someone on YouTube)

Leave Earth and go to Mars (ironically).
(Elon Musk…?)

To me, the list doesn’t seem impressive enough to justify human existence (no offense). It makes me think that the specific tasks we perform on Earth aren’t that important. Maybe existence is more about the feelings we feel.

The feeling of struggling toward accomplishment. The feeling of triumph. The feeling of making mistakes and failing. The feeling of recognition by others. The feeling of being first, an original. The feeling of entertaining or influencing others. The feeling of wonder or amusement. And of course there’s the feeling of falling in love or being loved.

I think we can all feel these things, just at different levels or in different settings. It’s also apparent that this world produces lots of narratives – but if we honestly examine those plots, they don’t justify human existence either. They’re repetitive, they rely on bumbling characters, and they’re not that interesting (where’s the magic and robots?). So the point doesn’t seem to be great storytelling. BUT, these narratives DO force participants to “feel”.

Earth is a feelings factory. It’s like a large-scale soap-opera designed to milk feelings from inhabitants. And if we don’t experience enough stimuli from external sources, our imagination fills the gaps, producing visions that thrill and enthrall. We’re perpetually prodded to feel something. But unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to matter whether we find the feeling pleasant or not.

In other words, it’s not exactly humane. Although maybe we consented to this experience. What’s exercise or a roller-coaster but the process of subjecting ourselves to discomfort for the purpose of improvement or entertainment. Even education has an element of strain and frustration. And of course the shows and books we consume certainly depict all sorts of suffering. And if you consider the scale of eternity, a little unpleasantness doesn’t mean much – so maybe that’s it.